Is Spray Paint the Paint You Want for the Long Haul?

For students, crafters, DIYs, and many others, spray paint ranks among the best inventions of all time. Although spray paint smells and creates a mess, it does not require any special skills to use the product and it come in a wide variety of paints and primers. You can purchase textured paint for home décor projects or buy enamel paints designed to resist heat and traffic. You can also select from vibrant, metallic colors and matte, semi-gloss and gloss finishes. Ease of use, adherence to most surface types and the ability to cover larger areas quickly, these features of spray paint make it easy to understand it has become a popular choice for a variety of residential commercial and industrial projects.

Aerosol Spray Paint Cans

Packaged in pressurized tin-plated steel or aluminum cans, spray paint or aerosol paint have a valve that controls the shape and dispersal of paint. The user releases the paint from the container by depressing a valve button (positioned at the top of the container) that is attached to a valve body, which functions as a mixing chamber for the paint and the propellant. A plastic tube carries the paint upward. Now, you probably want to know what the ball inside spray paint is. Made of glass, metal or plastic, and called a “pea,” the ball mixes the paint when the can is shake. All of this would not be possible without the spray can, which originated in France during the 18th century.

The modern age of the aerosol spray begin in 1927 when Norwegian Erik Rotheim patented his aerosol spray can, which contained a valve that could hold and dispense products and propellant systems. Metal spray can technology continued to evolve for next decades but were bulky. During World War Two, the United States government subsidize funding for the development of a portable aerosol can, which resulted in the development of an inexpensive lightweight container which could dispense liquids, foams, powders and creams. In 1949, Edward Seymour invented the first canned spray paint.

Spray Paint Applications

The blend of mechanics, physics and chemistry make spray paints suitable for a wide variety of residential, commercial and industrial applications. Around the house, spray paint can be just the right solution you need to liven up old accessories in bedrooms, dining rooms and other spaces. For example, you can use spray paint protectant to add a dash of color to a bland-looking dining room chandelier. The availability of spray paint formulated for specific materials even makes it possible to freshen up your favorite rattan or other piece of furniture and give it a factory finish.

In fact, spray painting has been used in the furniture industry since the early part of the 20th century. Furniture makers became the first industry to adopt spray paint gun technology.

Spray Paint Considerations

Spray paint cost more per square foot of coverage and you have to be careful of drips. Also, many environmentalists have concern about the effect of aerosol cans on the environment. Nonetheless, many people prefer spray paint because it works on plastics, metals, glass, ceramic and other substrates. In addition, spray paint provides a durable finish, covers the surface faster than brush on paint and offers more even coverage. Other features that makes spray paint attractive include:

  • Covers rough textures, unusual shapes and recesses unreachable by brush

  • Faster drying time

  • Quicker cleanup because it does not require you to use a brush, roller or containers

Similar to painting with a brush or roller, the key to a successful spray paint project lies in proper preparation and painting technique.

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